The Paterson Administration announced that Carra Wallace has declined the appointment to the position of Chief Diversity Officer of New York State. The Governor has asked Charlotte Hitchcock, his Chief of Staff, to assume the duties of this statutory role until December 31. In conjunction with the Governor's Counsel's office, Ms. Hitchcock was the point person for negotiations with the Legislature on the successful passage of this bill.

"I'd like to thank Ms. Wallace for considering the historic position of New York's first Chief Diversity Officer, for which she is profoundly qualified," Governor Paterson said. "I am grateful that she will continue to serve the people of the State of New York in her role at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), where during her tenure, DASNY increased utilization of MWBE underwriters in the Authority's bond issuances and also increased MWBE underwriting participation from 3 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2009."

Carra Wallace said: "Based on my strong interest in seeing the important initiatives under the Business Diversification Act of 2010 implemented in a timely fashion, including those duties associated with the new position of Chief Diversity Officer, I have informed Governor Paterson today that it is my intention to remain in my current position as Managing Director at the Dormitory Authority. This will allow the Governor to move expeditiously to get the provisions of the new legislation implemented. I want to thank the Governor for his consideration of me for such an important position and pledge my continuing support for the goals of the Act and to his Administration. I am looking forward to continuing my work at DASNY and also towards completing a course of study at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs."

The creation of the Chief Diversity Officer position in the Executive Chamber is required by Governor's Program Bill No. 298 (S.8313/A.11526), which was passed by the Legislature in June and signed into law by Governor Paterson on July 15. That statute significantly reformed and strengthened the State's program for encouraging the growth of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, a program in which the Chief Diversity Officer will play a central, coordinating role. This is the third Executive Chamber position to be required by law, joining the positions of Secretary and Counsel to the Governor.